Below Her Mouth: This is how lesbian scenes are done properly

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The new Canadian film “Below Her Mouth” challenges the stereotypes of lesbian sex portrayal in the cinema. Director of the film April Mullen: “Some of the scenes present women who actually enjoy sex, and the fact that it is considered revolutionary in 2017 says a lot about the long way that the patriarchal film industry still needs to go”

Trish Bendix, the editor of GO Magazine, watched the new Canadian film “Below Her Mouth” and discovered how lesbian sex scenes are being done properly.

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“A studio that tries to get a consumer-friendly rating and shows in homophobic countries, offers lesbian sex that is unrealistic,” says Bendix, “or it explodes with passion, or, alternatively, on the ridiculous border.”

“Carol”, for example, a film dedicated to the relationship between two women, there is only one short sex scene. “People really ask a lot about the sex scene,” Kate Blanchett said in an interview. “They’re concentrating on it, and I do not think that would be the case if I were a man or if it was a different scene.”

April Mullen’s film “Below Her Mouth” challenges the stereotypes of lesbian sex in the cinema. The team is completely female, directing, writing and photography. The Toronto-set story involves androgynous, blue-collar worker Dallas (model Erika Linder, an arresting visual presence), who, when first seen, is casually discarding her dejected girlfriend just after sleeping with her, and Jasmine (Natalie Krill), a successful fashion editor happily engaged to yuppie Rile (Sebastian Pigott), who conveniently spends much of his time traveling for business. When Dallas spots the gorgeous Jasmine while working on the building next door, it’s lust at first sight, and she wastes no time propositioning the object of her desire. Although flattered by the attention, Jasmine remains suitably standoffish at first, but, as is made evident by a torrid masturbation session she conducts in her bathtub while Dallas hammers away at a roof, her ardor has been awakened.

When it comes to Hollywood movies, though, sapphic sex scenes challenge the Motion Picture Association of America, which is notoriously squeamish when it comes to explicit displays of homosexuality or LGBT issues in general. Studios hoping to get consumer-friendly ratings (and have a movie play in homophobic countries) serve audiences lesbian sex that’s unrealistic—either with lackluster passion or, conversely, gratuitousness bordering on the ludicrous.

To make her actors feel safe and supported, Mullen not only insisted on a closed set, with just her and the female DP in the room but took other steps to ensure both comfort and authenticity: “We hid microphones around the room so there would be no boom operator,” she told me. “It was a really, really intimate space that we kind of created for them.”

That comfort allowed the intimate scenes between Linder and co-star Natalie Krill to be more organic.

“I would never have interrupted them just to be sure we got the right angle or the right light,” says Mullen. “You hope to catch it and if you don’t, you have to tweak things. But I would never direct or interrupt them in these scenes. I wanted it to play out really authentically between the two of them.”

What ultimately serves lesbian viewers best is a heightened version of reality: Two women with chemistry that is conveyed through organic dialogue, plot and body language, engaging in sex acts that weren’t created by an outsider’s imagination.

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